From The Innkeepers

February 2021

Attending to Matters of the Heart

February 2021 Blog -A Nod to Valentine’s Day

This blog is a few days late this month.  No excuses, but sometimes inspiration occurs on a timetable of its own.  The pen can work only if the mind and spirit are moved to pour out the words.  So here we go. 

Whenever I think of love conceptually, there is the realization that it is what we were meant to be and how we were meant to live.  A particular poem of e. e. cummings, has always resonated with me.  The pivotal first line of this poem calls us to: “be of love a little more careful than of everything”.   This is of course easier said than done.  In long term relationships in particular, I think you get accustomed to each other and can begin to take each other for granted.  Over the years I have concluded that the antidote for taking someone or something for granted is gratitude.  Gratitude does not have to stem only from some grand magnanimous gesture, it often is the compilation of the little things.  For example, there is not ever a time when I slide into a freshly laundered and changed bed, that I don’t thank Pat for these seemingly small creature comforts.  The same is true for Pat when I make avocado toast in the morning, or am the one who gets up to get that second or third cup of coffee.  Whenever Sharon makes a meal for just us (which is very often now that no one else is here), I always tell her thanks for the love that is not written in any recipe, but is always a felt thing in her cooking.  I call simple everyday times like this our “being of love” moments, and we try to have at least a few each day.

Loving is also about cherishing.  I looked up the word cherish in the dictionary and here’s the gist of it: “to hold or treat as dear; to feel love for, to care for tenderly; to nurture”.  I cherish our lives here together at the Rustic Gate.  We were fortunate to have the three of us here together to be in our safety bubble in the time of Covid.  Being sequestered with Sharon and Pat brought to the surface again how blessed we are to have each other to lean on, to hold close, to feel safe with, and to be a part of each other’s lives.  While we miss our retreat work and nurturing all of you when you come here, we know that nurturing each other more during the last 11 months has been the best of gifts.

The Dali Lama in his wisdom devised a meditation exercise which focuses on our human desire and need to be loved, to be happy, and to feel connected to each other and to the earth.  Of course, as with all meditation he has you paying attention to your breath.  With each inhale he instructs you to cherish yourself, with each exhale you cherish others.  The faces of others may come into your mind during the exhalation, beginning with those you are close to and gradually extending outwards to people in your community, the nation, then the world at large and the earth itself.  To do this practice is one way to “be of love”.  It can be the bedrock of numerous gestures of kindness and love.  It can be the impetus for intentionally expressing love in a world and at a time in history where the world waits with open arms, needing the love that only you can give.

Until next time, we wrap three virtual hugs around you all,